European Union Supports Innovative Startups in the Mediterranean

Under the EU-funded ‘From Innovation to Creation’ programme, local and international organisations came together in Amman to support the innovation and startup ecosystems in the Mediterranean region.

by Editor

MENA Newswire: “Our innovation programmes in Jordan and in the region such as the programme with SPARK, Ruwwad and Institut Arabe des Chefs d’Entreprises will boost neighbouring countries’ startup environment and will contribute to creating jobs and supporting the economies”, said Thibaut Moyer, Deputy Head of Cooperation at the European Delegation to Jordan during the Regional Stakeholders Event hosted on Monday 20 February by SPARK, a Dutch non-governmental organisation (NGO) focusing on job creation in the MENA region.

More than 130 participants representing twenty-five organisations from Jordan, Lebanon, Tunisia and Palestine joined SPARK’s Regional Stakeholders Event in Amman Marriott Hotel to discuss how startups can access new markets and export their goods and services, how policy framework can create an enabling environment for the startups and how they can attract more foreign investment to the region. Governments, business support organisations, startup incubators and accelerators shared ideas to overcome policy-related challenges and discuss ways to internationalise existing startups and boost innovative businesses. “SPARK is a unique international NGO, as we are able to bring together all of the stakeholders in the startup ecosystem”, said Mourad Hentati, Regional Programme Director for SPARK, an international NGO which aims to promote digitalisation and green transformation of the economies in developing countries in cooperation with local organisations.

“From Innovation to Creation programme, funded by the European Union, allows to strengthen the innovation ecosystem and enables stakeholders to cooperate and share best practices”, stated Aurélien Pastouret, Programme Manager, at DG NEAR – European Commission. “The European Union is working on a green economy package in cooperation with business support organisations to provide support through green skills development and tailored capacity enhancement”, he added.

Mohammed Musleh from the Palestinian Ministry of Entrepreneurship and Empowerment (MoEE) said “startups should be able to move freely within the Levant to access the diversified set of experience that each country brings and access new markets. Such free movement is key in tackling challenges related to integrating the workforce, building allies across borders, and bringing the region together”. In addition to market integration, the MoEE is implementing an end-to-end strategy to develop the Palestinian innovation-driven entrepreneurship sector, he added.

Contact: Emre Usta, Regional Communications Coordinator, Stichting SPARK,, +905533211053

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